I continue to be impressed with the kindness shown by the people mom encountered on her travels. Was it a safer, kinder time? Was she just incredibly lucky (her guardian angels always worked overtime)? Whatever the case, she encountered some pretty remarkable people.
Pat and I remembered a marvellous restaurant there which served excellent meals for about 60 cents. We spent 3/4 of an hour searching for the youth hostel where we could stay for 50 cents (I’m sure we burned up more gas looking for it) and finally discovered it beyond the railroad track which we had been crossing all the time. It was a charming and picturesque little building, lacking only one thing – a stove. There was only one other person staying there and the lady was quite shocked to see so many people descending on her this time of the year. I don’t think any of us took very many clothes off that night and we were very speedy in getting out to the nice warm car the next morning. The drive through Switzerland was very pleasant in the morning when we could see the sun shining on the snowy mountains and the little villages which looked like Christmas cards but it clouded over in the afternoon so we were unable to see much of the Alps. We got lost at one point so we decided to stop and have a bowl of soup for lunch at a charming little hotel which was along the road while we found out where we were. It was a warm friendly little dining room with several people in there gossiping over cups of tea and glasses of wine. We were somewhat of an oddity and got several curious stares while eating. As we were leaving a man and his wife asked if they could buy us a cup of coffee. They were so very nice we couldn’t refuse and sat down again. No one spoke either French or English so we stammered out our few phrases of German and hoped that our smiles and nods conveyed some of our appreciation for this gesture. They were very concerned about us and stood waving at the door until we were out of sight.
We climbed through may mountains that afternoon getting into more and more snow. We could see the skiers returning to their lodges and I envied Gail who was spending her vacation with some French students learning how to ski. We stopped for the night at a little village near the boarder. Pat and I had a lovely room with a balcony. There was a lighted Christmas tree on it and we could see the snow falling on it all night. It really gave one the feeling of Christmas.
The next morning, after the usual continental breakfast of rolls and cafe au lait, we set out to find Liechtenstein. Since this country has a treaty with Switzerland, there is no regular border between the two and before we knew it we found ourselves in the tiny capital city with the Prince’s castle overlooking it. Liechtenstein’s main industry is postage stamps and we aided the economy by each sending off two or three post cards. Since the country is so small it was only a few minutes to the Austrian border. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we would be travelling on a big wide “autobahn” ie. a freeway. Needless to say it took no time at all to zip over to the German border. We did no shopping as we knew we would be returning in a few days. Germany is loved by us all as the land of the ‘Milk bars” and we stopped at the first one we found in a little town not too far from the border. There was a great big jolly German sitting in there who watched us with an amused and kindly expression on his face as we tried to ask the waitress if we could get a lunch there. Imagine our joy when we found out he spoke French and was able to translate for us. He ran out and bought the cheese for our sandwiches and made sure that we all got what we wanted. This was just one of the many times our limited French was a big help to us. We decided that Jeannie would drive for a while in the afternoon. Since she is very short it was necessary to push the seat of the VW up. It is rather sticky and we all got behind to shove it forward. To our consternation we pushed so hard it came completely out of the car and we were left in the middle of the street with a loose seat in our hands! We tried valiantly for several minutes to put it back but were unable to repeat our past performance of strength. Finally the waitress saw our trouble and sent out three big boys who soon had us all put together and ready to race off towards Munich again.
Have to go to classes now, will continue at a later date